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Woman Cop Guilty Of Murders

Tue., Sept. 12, 1995

A policewoman was convicted Monday of killing a former partner and two other people during an attempted robbery at a restaurant.

Antoinette Frank faces execution or life in prison at her sentencing Tuesday on three counts of first-degree murder.

Officer Ronald Williams, a former partner of Frank’s who was moonlighting as a guard at the Kim Anh Restaurant, and two of the owners’ children - Cuong Vu, 18, and Ha Vu, 24 - were killed March 4.

Frank was arrested after she returned to the scene with a large contingent of officers and was identified by Vu family members who hid in a large cooler during the rampage.

Frank’s lawyer, Robert Jenkins, declined to present a defense and told the jury in his closing argument that her accomplice, Rogers Lacaze, was the sole killer. Lacaze, 18, was convicted in July and sentenced to death.

Prosecutor Elizabeth Teel, in her closing argument, recalled Frank’s statement to investigators that Lacaze forced her to participate. She pointed out that Frank had a gun and a police radio, which she could have used to defend herself and call for help.

Frank’s case was the latest in a series of scandals for the New Orleans Police Department, under fire not only for allegations of brutality and corruption, but also for the city’s murder rate, which has risen consistently.

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